With the government opting out, Save the Children estimates that parents are forced to finance 80-90 percent of all public education outside the capital Kinshasa, though under the DRC’s 2006 constitution elementary education is supposed to be free.
Teachers’ salaries go unpaid which means parents must contribute to their wages via monthly school fees of around US$5 per pupil.
Large families and an average monthly income of just $50 means such fees are entirely unaffordable for large swathes of the DRC population - with serious consequences. Estimates from Save the Children and others suggest nearly half of Congolese children, more than three million, are out of school and one in three have never stepped in the classroom.
“Authorities in Rio de Janeiro have come under renewed pressure to bulletproof up to 200 schools in conflict-stricken areas, after an 11-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet during a maths lesson. City authorities are studying plans to introduce reinforced walls and bulletproof windows to protect an estimated 100 000 pupils and 5 000 teachers who study and work in “at-risk areas”. They follow the fatal shooting of Wesley Gilbert de Andrade, an 11-year-old pupil who was shot through the heart by a stray bullet while inside his primary school on 16 July. The shooting happened during a police operation against drug gangs operating in slums near the school, among them a favela named Final Feliz, or Happy Ending.”—http://www.ei-ie.org/healthandsafety/en/newsshow.php?id=1324&theme=healthandsafety&country=brazil
The magazine brings news of innovative education work by ActionAid and other like minded organizations. This issue contains articles on the recent UN conference on adult education (CONFINTEA VI), on work to promote girls’ empowerment and stop violence against girls in schools, on the work of the GCE and the 1GOAL campaign to get all children into school, as well as updates on Reflect practice around the world.
'Second-chance' examination for schoolchildren affected by conflict in South Darfur
SOUTH DARFUR, Sudan, 14 July 2010 – UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in the South Darfur region of Sudan have witnessed the successful completion of a key goal: providing a ‘second-chance examination’ for eighth-grade students affected by conflict in the locality of East Jabel Marra.
Due to recent fighting, the children had lost the opportunity to take the exam that would guarantee their school advancement.
With the strong advocacy of UNICEF´s education cluster and efforts by the Ministry and local government officials – as well as the support of international donors – the second-chance examination took place in Nyala town in May. A total of 304 pupils, including 48 girls, took exam.
Iraqi schools, once renowned, still reeling from war
Years of exposure to violence and fear have taken a toll. “For Iraqi boys, what’s the point of [getting a degree] when your life is threatened?” asks the teacher. “This is so much more of an influence. So we really can’t talk about ideals because this is the fabric – this is the raw material that is to be used for education.
Canadian teachers pay out of pocket for classroom essentials
A survey carried out by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) has discovered that in the 2008-09 school year each Canadian teacher paid out from their own pocket an average of $453 for essential classroom materials or class-related activities.
Child-friendly spaces for learning and playing without fear in Osh, Kyrgyzstan
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 13 July 2010 – After weeks of violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, Osh is beginning to witness tiny signs of a return to normal life: The streets are filling up with people and cars. Some rush to the market to buy food, others go to visit their relatives and share their blankets and clothes with those who lost everything.
But there is one vital element missing: the children. Many were sent away by their parents for safekeeping, to stay with relatives in remote villages. Only a few families have started to bring them back.
Ongoing field assessments reveal numerous problems and hardships for children and women – regardless of ethnicity – who suffered the most during the civil conflict that broke out in mid-June and now have a long way to recovery. With this in view, UNICEF has opened an operating base in Osh, 600 km form Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital.
One of first projects for the team is to facilitate psycho-social support for children and help them to learn to play, draw and read again, without fear.
Rwanda: University Students to Get Laptops On Loan
Kigali — In a bid to solve the problem of inadequate computers in most universities in the country, the Ministry of Education is considering providing laptops to students in public institutions of higher learning on loan.
The move was revealed yesterday by Education Minister, Dr. Charles Murigande, during a press conference on social cluster development in the country in the last seven years.
IRIN Africa | SENEGAL: Out of school, into marriage
DAKAR, 5 July 2010 (IRIN) - Twelve-year-old Rama* in Senegal’s Sédhiou region is still in school instead of wedded to a man in his 40s, after community members convinced her father to abandon the family’s plan to give her away.
But in most cases family or social pressure to marry off young girls still wins out in many regions of the country, researchers and educators say.
In historic move, UN creates single entity to promote women’s empowerment
2 July 2010 –
In a bid to accelerate the empowerment of women, the General Assembly today voted unanimously to create a dynamic new entity merging four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality, a move hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials.
“The newest member of the UN family has been born today,” Mr. Ban told the Assembly after it passed the resolution setting up the new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be known as UN Women.
TBILISI — Georgian teachers and their unions worry that thousands of teachers might lose their jobs before the start of the school year …
The Education Ministry has decided that starting in the 2010-2011 school year, all teachers must teach 18 hours of classes per week. Those with less will be laid off unless the school’s director can prove to the ministry that the teacher is necessary.
UN agency calls for more support for its school feeding programmes
Nancy Walters, the chief of school feeding policy at WFP, told a New York forum on hunger that the programmes have many benefits beyond the immediate goal of ensuring children do not go hungry. They help children stay in class, reduce levels of diseases and other health problems, empower girls, lift education standards and free many youngsters from having to work.
Education Insights: Making education inclusive for all
According to UNESCO, inclusion “…involves changes and modifications in content, approaches, structures and strategies, with a common vision which covers all children of the appropriate age range and a conviction that it is the responsibility of the regular system to educate all children.”
Sarah Weston is the first online teacher in Utah to receive an Educator of the Year award. She teaches math courses at the Open High School of Utah, a full-service online high school, where she also develops and creates dynamic, engaging courses online. Because the curriculum is housed and delivered on the computer, the majority of Sarah’s time is spent providing one-on-one tutoring for each student, giving them the individualized instruction they need, when they need it.
SOMALIA: School clubs help Somaliland children overcome trauma
In the past, if a child misbehaved in class, teachers would punish them with detention, canning or suspension, which led to many children dropping out of school. “Previously, children would drop out of school without anyone understanding why, but with the introduction of the clubs and the training of teachers as counsellors, these cases have also reduced because teachers now know how to handle children with social and psycho-social problems.
Giving education a sporting chance « World Education Blog
The 1Goal campaign – a global partnership between the world soccer federation Fifa and civil society organisations across the world – has helped to focus attention on this crisis in education. On July 11, the campaign will culminate in a special education summit in Cape Town, hosted by President Jacob Zuma. The aim: to get the 72-million primary-school-age kids currently denied an education into decent quality schooling by 2015.
This World Cup summit is a one-off chance to galvanise the leadership and the financial resources needed to make this happen. So far, political leaders have failed to treat the education crisis with the urgency it merits. Perhaps that’s because you don’t see kids dying for want of schooling. But when 72 million children don’t have a chance to go to school, there are deep social, economic and human costs.